I feel a bit tawdry and cheap doing this. I really do. But not so cheap and tawdry that I won't do it.
So, I just discovered that Luminescence was added to one of those "Listopia" lists on Goodreads and I'm kind of excited about it. I know it's not exactly the NYT Besteller list or anything, but it makes me happy that someone added it.
Anyway, I hate to ask this, but I will anyway. If you read and liked the book, would you consider going to vote for it? I'm thrilled to be on the list, but I'd be ecstatic if I could move up a notch or two. Every little bit of exposure helps.
The link is here.
But, I only want to go up if it's legit. So I'm only asking people to do this who read and truly liked the book.
This is sort of Mormon inside baseball. I'm sorry for those of you that this excludes. I generally don't do too much of this on my blog. But I feel it's kind of important. Please tune back in again for the regular amalgamation of book stuff and middle school living.
Update: Wow! I checked my traffic this morning and this post seems to be getting a lot of visitors. Welcome to my blog. I like to keep things civil and polite here. I also will not have much time to moderate or reply to comments over the next few days.
Dear Mormon Folks:
One of my favorite plays is Fiddler on the Roof. In that play, which deals with how believers in a traditional faith cope with a changing world, there is a scene at a wedding. In this scene, a progressive young man scandalizes the more traditional guests. A fierce debate ensues about whether what he did was a sin. As everyone shouts at each other, someone suggests they ask the Rabbi.
Everyone turns to the Rabbi who thinks, then says, "I say--I say--Let's all sit down."
My friends, co-religionists, sisters and brothers: may I say the same thing? In love and sincere warmth: Let's all sit down.
We have difficult issues right now, challenges as we try to move forward, individually and collectively.
People feel deeply about these issues, and emotions are high. I understand that, and I'm not casting stones, or even aspersions at or on anyone. But I feel like I'm seeing this pattern: One group does something, and then the blogosphere is alight with reactions by a second group. Then the first group responds to the second with more blog posts and back and forth--and suddenly, we are yelling at each other on Facebook, calling each other out for various things, and ultimately restating our opinions with more and more volume.
May I suggest we all sit down, virtually speaking?
Conference is upon us. Would a period of quiet reflection hurt anything? Could we spend the next week and a few days just praying and pondering? Praying for the Prophet and those who will speak? Praying for those who are suffering around the world? And praying for each other? The Savior said we should pray for our enemies, and surely we are not yet enemies. So if we are not, then should we not feel an even greater imperative to pray for each other? Real, honest, true, charitable prayers?
I think that everyone's positions are pretty clear right now. I don't think one more blog post is going to change anyone's mind, or be the difference-maker in terms of scoring a decisive hit. But I do wonder how much damage continued talking at and over each other might do.
Surely there is still more that unites us than divides us.
So please, can we all sit down? Can we declare a truce of sorts? A Conference truce--a Mormon version of the famous truce on Christmas Eve during WWI.
Instead of arguing and advocating and lobbing rhetorical shells at the other side, can we just listen for a bit, and not talk? Will we lose anything important in a short period of silence?
Any decisions made will not likely involve us. This is not a referendum. So our input, while it might be gratifying to express, is not really going to make a difference in the final outcome. But it might make a big difference to the fabric of the Church, and the spirit that dwells among us.
I love and support our leaders--but they aren't speaking right now. We are. And very loudly, with growing frequency. Are we ready to hear the voices of those we believe can speak for God?
At this point, expressing my opinion will probably generate some heat, but not much light. Might my loving, patient silence be of greater value than my voice right now, no matter how deeply I feel my convictions?
The voice of the Lord came to Elijah not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire--but in the still, small voice (1 Kings 19: 11-13)
I wonder if we can perhaps have less wind and fire, and a bit more still, small voice. It certainly can't hurt.
Please note I'm not saying, "Sit down and shut up." I'm simply suggesting that a mature, reflective period of silence, preparing to listen and learn from General Conference would not hurt any of us.
Please, let's sit down.
My Sincerest Love,
Today I'm very happy to be part of the blog tour for Marlene Sullivan's new book, A Death in the Family. I've read this and it's a lot of fun.
Meet Erica Coleman—a gifted and quirky private investigator with an OCD-like passion for neatness and symmetry, a penchant for cooking, (ten terrific recipes are included), and a weakness for chocolate.
In A Death in the Family, the second in the Erica Coleman series, private eye Erica Coleman and her family happily anticipate Grandma Blanche’s eighty-first birthday celebration in the picturesque town of Florence, Oregon. But when the feisty matriarch, a savvy businesswoman, suspects wrongdoing and asks Erica to investigate her company, things get sticky.
Before the investigation can even begin, Blanche’s unexpected death leaves Erica with more questions than answers—and it is soon clear Grandma’s passing was anything but natural: she was murdered. When another relative becomes the next victim of someone with a taste for homicide, Erica uses her flair for cooking to butter up local law enforcement and gather clues.
Erica’s OCD either helps or hinders her—depending on who you talk to—but it’s those same obsessive and compulsive traits than enable Erica to see clues that others miss. When she narrowly escapes becoming the third victim, Erica is more determined than ever to solve the case.
Excerpt from A Death in the Family
“It’s hard to believe she’s gone,” Kristen said dolefully. “When I moved here, I thought I’d have years with Grandma. She was always so active—I thought she’d keep going for years.”
“And all the time, her heart was getting weaker,” Trent said glumly.
Walter commented, “The last time I saw her, Blanche said the doctor told her she had the constitution of a mule.”
There were a few smiles at this, but Martha’s brow furrowed in confusion. “But Mom’s death didn’t have anything to do with how healthy she was.”
“What are you talking about?” Trent’s impatient voice billowed out and filled the small room.
Martha squirmed but fluttered on, “Well, after what Mom said when she came to visit me, you know—about how something wrong was going on in the company—I worried that something might happen.”
Her response reverberated around the room. Everyone went very still—as if they were holding their breath.
Martha’s eyes went from one to another. “I didn’t mean—oh, I shouldn’t have said anything,” she stammered. Her voice was pure distress. “It’s just that . . . well, we’re all family here, so it’s okay, isn’t it? I mean, no one else knows.”
“No one else knows what?” Trent said brusquely.
Visibly flustered, Martha’s hands twisted in her lap. “And . . . and Mother was very old and—and the police haven’t even come, have they?”
Erica wondered what Martha could be getting at. Everyone darted quizzical looks at each other, trying to make sense out of Martha’s confused chirruping.
After meeting blank looks all around, Martha blurted, “I mean, that’s good . . . isn’t it? For the family?”
The room remained deadly silent as Martha’s cheeks flamed red.
There was a rumble as Walter cleared his throat. “Why would the police come?”
“Why, to arrest someone.” Martha sounded surprised—as if he had asked something that was completely and absolutely self-evident. She stared at Walter, as if he and he alone could straighten everything out. “Isn’t that why they’re doing an autopsy? I mean, don’t they always do an autopsy when someone has been murdered?”
Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children.
Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, and Heroes of Faith. Her latest book is Gaze Into Heaven; Near Death Experiences in Early Church History, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences from the lives of early latter-day Saints.
Marlene’s first novel was the best-selling Light on Fire Island. Her next novel was Motive for Murder, which is the first in a mystery series that features the quirky private eye with OCD, Erica Coleman.
Here are 3 links where A Death in the Family can be purchased online.
Deseret Book: http://deseretbook.com/Death-Family-Marlene-Bateman/i/5120025
Seagull Book: http://www.seagullbook.com/lds-products-823999.html
A Death in the Family is also available at physical bookstores such as Deseret Book and Seagull Book, as well as other LDS bookstores. You can find out more about Marlene and her books at: www.marlenebateman.info.
Things have been so very busy the last few weeks. I'm behind in a lot of areas, and I haven't been doing very good updates about the blog tour for Luminescence. Well, I've been doing them on my Facebook author page, but not on the blog. So far, I've had some really wonderful reviews, and I appreciate these folks taking the time to read and review my book. I'm especially grateful that their reviews were so kind! Oh yeah, don't forget to sign up for the giveaway!
I'll be better at keeping this updated! You can go here for the tour schedule.
Christina Dymock, author: "I highly recommend this series for middle grade readers and their parents. They are clean, fun, and take a good look at some of the issues that Jr. High students face. Mr. 12 and I had some good discussions about character development as well as teenage development." Read the whole review here.
Lisa at Queen of Random: "...the writing is solid, captivating and clever . . . . Mr. Bell's trilogy is a master class in how to write MG Fantasy. Totally awesome! And he ties in their emotional hang ups without making them whiny (except in those moments when it's intentional to the character). Great world building . . . ." Read the whole review here.
Rebecca at The Crooked Word: "Mr. Bell has taken us on a fun, magic-filled journey - and the worst thing I can say about it is: It's over. Kids will love the magic, the adventure, the fun, the real-to-life characters. Parents will appreciate the examples of self-sacrifice and friendship, loyalty and teamwork." Read the whole review here.
Shauna at I Love to Read and Review Books: "An AMAZING journey! So. So. So. Good! You don't want to miss out on this one." Read the whole review here.
In order to celebrate the birthday of my latest arrival, I'm having a giveaway as part of the blog tour festivities! Come join us and win a chance at a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.
If you haven't read the Middle School Magic books, this will not really make any sense!
The other day, I got an email from my niece and she was telling me that she had decided what her Magi sigil would be. That made me think of all those internet quizzes that tell you who you would be in Harry Potter, or Downton Abbey, or what state you should live in, etc. I thought it might be fun to do that for sigils. So, I made up a little quiz.
Please note that the results will not be instant--a real, live person will go over these and carefully consider the answers. Then, you will receive an email-- and then your answers will be deleted. They will not be stored or shared with anyone.
Our big winter musical was a few weeks ago--and I'm just now getting around to getting pictures up. The show was Seussical which is a fun, joyful, and very sweet show.
We have a giveaway going on Goodreads for a copy of Luminescence. Super easy to sign-up!
In order to celebrate the publication of Luminescence, the publisher is having some crazy sales on The Kindling and Penumbras. Now is your chance to get an incredible discount--basically one dollar each.
Here's how it works. There are good sales on both e-books as well as paper copies. I'll list each one below. Both sales last until March 31st.
E-books: You can get The Kindling and Penumbras for .99 each. Seriously! .99 each. But, the offer is only good at Booksandthings.com you have to use the code LUCENT.
Paper copies: If you buy Luminescence at regular price, you can get The Kindling and Penumbras at $1.00 each. You need to go through the Cedar Fort website. (Note: this worked best for me when I searched my name, as opposed to teach book). SUPER IMPORTANT DIRECTIONS: Put all three books in your basket at regular price. Then at checkout, use the code: MSM0314 (note: that is a zero between the "M" and "3"). That should take the first two books to $1.00.
If you don't know what these books are, you can read a little about The Kindling here, and Penumbras here.
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Thoughts about raising and teaching adolescents. You can read the complete series here. (What in the world are Middle School Mondays?) Click here.
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